Everyone will tell you that time flies…how right they are!
Ten Years ago I decided to retire from my busy and hectic work life in Hotels – I was very much looking forward to having more holidays and doing things I had never had the opportunity to do before. Slight panic set in thinking will I have enough to fill my days? I then had a “lightbulb” moment – I should volunteer, but where could I go that I would enjoy and also be flexible to fit in with my much loved holidays.
My best decision was to meet with Denise at Ronald McDonald House Bristol and have a chat. I had been working with the House through the Marriott Spirit to Serve Programme and had met everyone at the House on many occasions, so I already knew what a wonderful place it was. After the chat, I had no doubt in my mind that this is what I wanted to do. Ten years later I know I made the right decision.
I see how parents value the House and are able to relax a little and bring some “normality “ day to day when they return after spending time with their child at the hospital.
As a volunteer on a regular basis I tell them I will do virtually anything they need – with the exception of things like jumping out of planes, laminating and writing blogs!
RMH Bristol is a completely independent charity so I work closely with the two fundraisers, Anna and Linny and feel that I can contribute in some way to their efforts. I can spend hours on the phone persuading companies and people to donate prizes for Auctions and Raffles and am always overwhelmed at people’s generosity. So many are also happy to donate their time, from businesses who offer their services to schools and adults willing to dedicate time to sing at our Christmas concerts. I love doing a Toy Sale in the lobby of the Bristol Children’s Hospital to raise funds; it is so much fun and I have even roped my sister into helping me!
I feel very privileged to be invited along to events such as the recent 15 year celebration of the opening of the House. Every member of the team over the years has made me feel very welcome, they care about the families and they care about each other and me.
2018 is going to be exciting year with so many events planned celebrating 15 years since the opening of the House, I am 100% sure the team will have plenty for me to do!
Looking back to 2007, I guess I never thought that ten years on I would still be volunteering and loving it, and I still find it personally very rewarding. The people I have had contact with during this time have been amazing, it fills me with happiness and I am grateful that Denise agreed to me being a part of the team.
Oh and yes I can still fit in all my much loved holidays!!!
Jayne – January 23rd 2018